Law and resistance: toward a performative epistemology of law

Allo, Awol Kassim (2013) Law and resistance: toward a performative epistemology of law. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is a genealogical inquiry into law’s conditions of possibility for political critique as/and resistance. Questioning law’s claim to normativity, it argues that law is a performative discourse that generates and presents its normative materiality through performative iterations. From the constitution of sovereignty to the formation of the legal subject; from the rituals of legislation to ceremonials of adjudication, there is a performative logic that contingently conditions law’s generation of the normative reality of the present. Arguing that law’s normative representation and expression of sovereignty, the subject, and politics closes the possibility for change and becoming; contesting law’s claims to rationality, objectivity, neutrality, autonomy, and universality; it puts forth a performative epistemology of law that is attentive to power and discourse; and to the production of knowledge’ and the ‘generation of truth.’ Calling attention to law’s entanglement with power and the violence of exclusion and domination; it brings historical inquiry into the orbit of law and legality. The thesis presents the political trial both as: (1) a moment that subverts law’s normative claims to rationality, autonomy and value-neutrality; and (2) as a power-knowledge formation capable of accommodating fresh articulations of hegemonic norms. Drawing on Foucault’s conceptions of power and resistance, I will offer strategies and tactics that: (1) formulate and circulate strategic knowledge of power in law; and (2) open up new sites of struggle for what I call a performative-genealogical intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Law, Resistance, Domination, Performativity, Genealogy, Knowledge, Power, Discourse,spatiality, temporality, Performative Resistance, Strategies of Resistance, Political Trials, Courts
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Christodoulidis, Professor Emilios and Phipps, Professor Alison
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Mr Awol Allo
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4894
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2014 09:50
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2018 10:01

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